Daily Content Archive

(as of Monday, January 3, 2022)
Word of the Day

prevaricate

Definition:(verb) To stray from or evade the truth; equivocate.
Synonyms:beat around the bush, palter, tergiversate
Usage: At the press conference, the politician continued to prevaricate on the issue rather than provide a direct answer.
Daily Grammar Lesson

Articles and Other Parts of Speech

Articles always modify nouns. An article can also precede a noun phrase, even if it begins with an adjective or an adverb. However, articles cannot precede what part of speech? More...
Article of the Day

The Diamond Sutra

The Diamond Sutra is a Buddhist wisdom text. Written in the form of a dialogue between the Buddha Gautama and a questioning disciple, it emphasizes the fleeting nature of the material world and posits that enlightenment cannot be achieved through rational thought. A wood block-printed copy of the sutra held at the British Library is the earliest known printed text with a date—868 CE—predating the Gutenberg Bible by about 587 years. The copy, in scroll form, is roughly how many feet long? More...
This Day in History

Deadly Incident at Experimental US Nuclear Power Reactor (1960)

The only fatal nuclear reactor incident in US history occurred at the US Army's SL-1 experimental nuclear reactor. It was being restarted after an 11-day shutdown when a control rod was withdrawn too far, causing a "prompt critical" reaction. Water surrounding the core explosively vaporized and lifted the enormous reactor vessel more than 9 ft (2.7 m) off the ground. All three operators—one of whom was impaled and pinned to the ceiling—died. Why was the incident rumored to be a murder-suicide? More...
Today's Birthday

Marion Davies (1897)

Davies, an American actress, appeared in her first film in 1917 and acted in 29 more over the next 10 years. When she was 19, she caught the attention of newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst, who spent millions promoting her career. However, their social life at his palatial estate began to overshadow her career, which was further jeopardized by a scandal involving a film producer's mysterious death on Hearst's yacht. Why did Hearst and Davies, who lived as a couple for decades, never marry? More...
Quotation of the Day
It is the same with man as with the tree ... The more he seeketh to rise into the height and light, the more vigorously do his roots struggle earthward, downward, into the dark and deep—into the evil.

Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)

Idiom of the Day

be not worth a brass farthing

To be completely worthless or useless; to have little or no value. Refers to farthings (obsolete British units of currency, worth one-quarter of a penny), formerly made from a copper alloy (brass). Primarily heard in UK. More...
Today's Holiday

Ball-Catching Festival (2022)

This 500-year-old tradition, said to have its roots in the legend of a dragon god (Ryujin) offering two balls to the Empress Jingu (170–269), takes place each year in Higashi-Ku, Fukuoka City, Japan. Two teams of Japanese men, wearing only loincloths (fundoshi), compete for a ball that weighs about 18 pounds; these teams consist of the Land Team, made up of farmers who work the fields, and the Sea team, composed of fishermen. A Shinto priest awaits the winner to hand him the ball—the size of the harvest or of the catch during the new year is determined by which team wins. More...
Word Trivia

Today's topic: prize

athlete - Derived from Greek athlon, "prize" or "contest"—which also gives us triathlon (etc.); it should be pronounced ATH-leet—with two syllables, not three. More...

cakewalk - Started out as a competitive dance whose winner got a cake as a prize. More...

premium - First meant "prize, reward." More...

taking the cake - Once meant literally winning the prize of a cake, awarded in a cakewalk. More...

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